Contracts Consideration Law and Legal Definition

Consideration in the law of contracts is something of value given by one party in return for the promises of the other party to the contract. Consideration may be given for preformance of an act or for not performing an act. For example, a person may make a valid contract by paying someone not to erect a fence on their property.

Although the consideration must be aqequate in order to make a contract enforceable, adequacy does not mean that the contract price exactly matches, or exceeds, the fair market value of the property; instead, to be "adequate" the agreed consideration must only approximate the market value sufficiently that the conscience of the Judge is not offended. Adequacy of the consideration is measured as of the parties' entry into the contract, not at the time for performance or at the time of trial. To measure the adequacy of the consideration at any other time would deprive the buyer of the benefit of his bargain.